New law helps catch alleged copper thieves

POSTED: Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 4:10pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 5:27pm

Brian Odom, Eric McCall and Tyler Turner are behind bars at the Livingston Parish  Detention Center. They're accused of stealing copper wiring from the new Live Oak School in Watson. These are arrests made possible, in part, because of House Bill 195. "By law you have to produce an i.d., have the license number of your vehicle written down," says Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office Chief of Operations Perry Rushing.

The new law requires scrap yards in the state to hold on to the copper for thirty days before seliing it, While the Livingston Parish Sheriff's office says this law definitely makes it a lot easier to catch criminals, secondhand dealers like Jonathan Rovira say the law has had an effect on his inventory and his business," It's difficult to purchase thirty days worth of inventory before getting any payment back for it. What we've had to do is lower our prices in order to hold the material 30 days. From a financial standpoint and a real estate standpoint, we can only hold so much material." says Rovira.

Even though it's affecting his bottom line, he feels the law is a step in the right direction, "i think it's a good idea." it's helped us as far as a security standpoint."

Detectives say it's helping them because they have a little extra time to investigate when copper thefts are reported.

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